Henselite Tigers start their 2018 Sides Championship campaign
The 2018 Alley Shield & Marj Morris Trophy competitions commenced at the Darwin & Nightcliff Bowling clubs today. The Alley Shield sees the Men battle it out, whilst the Women play for the Marj Morris trophy. The Men are trying to go one better than their 2nd place in the 2017 competition.
The first opponent for both teams was Western Australia. The Men got off to a strong start on the back of Mark Nitz’ rink of Philip Mundy, Lachie Sims & Taelyn Male. They led 11-1 against the rink skipped by Cody Packer and further extended their lead to 14-1. Meanwhile Lee Schraner was having a very low scoring match against Tom Mitchell with only 11 shots scored in the first 10 ends. Michael Sims was taking on John Slavich and although being behind on the scoreboard, was keeping things close. At around the 40th end, a crucial end occurred with Schraner picking up a 5, extending the lead to 15 and the team as a whole never looked back. Nitz had great support from Lachie Sims and the rink as a team were gelling well, and the end score of 28-12 gave the other two rinks the chance to focus on their individual result. Schraner pulled away late in his game, with Josh Mabb playing very well from the Lead position, running away 18-9 winners. Sims ensured it would be 3 rinks from 3, with an 18-16 victory. The perfect start for the Henselite Tigers.
Our Women’s team had a great game that came right down to the wire. The Western Australian team started the better of the two sides with Kristina Krstic leading the way against Erin Sesara. Krstic is part of the Australian set up and will be keen to put her name in front of the selectors as they look to the next World Championships and build towards the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Our other two rinks featuring our own Commonwealth Games star, Rebecca Van Asch started to turn the score board over against Noelene Abe, as did Candice Hodgetts in her match up against Helen Morss, both leading by 2 shots but being just behind on the overall board. The Western Australians then found some momentum and once the lead extended into double figures, there were worries that the score line could blow out. But our women dug deep and showed that this team of 12 players has some fight that will test out all of the opposing sides during this campaign. The margin was reduced to 3 shots in quick fashion and after 49 ends, the Women had hit the lead. Unfortunately for us, the momentum swang again, with WA picking up 4 consecutive ends across the board and taking the lead out to 7 shots with 9 ends to play. A late 4 shot pick up by Hodgetts put us within 5 shots with 2 to play, but the dream finish wasn’t to be, WA winning by 2 shots, 61-59.
64-37 vs WA Schraner def Mitchell 18-9, M Sims def Slavich 18-16 & Nitz def Packer 28-12
59-61 vs WA Van Asch def Abe 20-16, Hodgetts def Morss 23-20 & Sesara lost to Krstic 16-25
For the next 3 days, the teams will be playing two tests a day, tomorrow our opponents will be the Northern Territory & Victoria, Day three will be New South Wales & the ACT and the last day will see us play South Australia & Queensland.
The other states had some great battles today with the closest result in the Men’s competition being a surprise South Australian win against Queensland, who now feature Australia’s premier bowler, Aron Sherriff. But I think we need to stop calling it a surprise. South Australia are the defending champions and are proving that they can mix it with the big states year in and year out. They play well as a team and have 12 players that know their roles and execute well. Victoria and NSW were convincing winners over the NT & ACT respectively. In the Women’s event it was all pretty one sided apart from our match with QLD def SA, NSW def ACT & Vic def NT.
This is how the Ladders currently look
Men – 1 NSW, 2 TAS, 3 VIC, 4 SA, 5 QLD, 6 NT, 7 WA, 8 ACT
Women – 1 NSW, 2 QLD, 3 VIC, 4 WA, 5 TAS, 6 NT, 7 SA, 8 ACT
But there is a lot of bowls to be played before those ladder positions are finalised.
I have read on Facebook that Bowls Australia is planning on live streaming some games, so keep an eye out for those through the Bowls in Tasmanian Facebook group. Good luck to all of our players for tomorrow and the remainder of the event.
By David Genford